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Tests

Many of our courses require applicants to take an admissions test, and we use these tests to help us choose between all the excellent candidates who apply to study at Oxford. To make your application as competitive as possible it's very important that you register for and take any admissions tests that are required for your course.

The tabs on this page give you important information about our tests including how to find out if your course has a test, registration information, preparation tips, and FAQs. Please read through the information on each tab carefully.

Are you an international student? You will still need to take the relevant admissions tests - check our specific guidance.

What are the admissions tests?

Our admissions tests are timed, written exams which are designed to show us how you think: how you analyse and solve difficult questions; how you apply your knowledge to texts or problems you won’t have encountered before.

Everyone applying to a course which requires an admissions test must take that test as part of their application - it doesn't matter whether you are a UK, EU, or International student, what other exams you are taking, or whether you are currently at school or are a mature applicant.

When do the the admissions tests take place?

Most of Oxford’s admissions tests are administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. These tests are taken at specific dates each year, a few weeks after the application deadline on 15 October. The next test dates are:

Wednesday 31 October 2018
Wednesday 30 October 2019
Wednesday 4 November 2020

Applicants for Medicine

Please note that the BMAT is offered on two different dates every year. Applicants for the A100 Medicine course must take the BMAT in October/November, and not the September sitting.
Applicants for the A101 Graduate Entry Medicine course may choose either the September or October/November sitting of the BMAT, but must not take the test twice in one application round.

Applicants for Law

All candidates must take the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) between 1 September and 20 October in the year they submit their application. To guarantee a test slot you must register by 5 October.

Do I have to take a test?

Click on any of the subject headings in this list to see whether the course you are applying for has an admissions test or tests.

If a test is required you will see the name of the test, the registration deadline for that test, and links to follow for past or specimen papers.

Archaeology and Anthropology

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Biochemistry

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Biological Sciences

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Biomedical Sciences

Test:
All candidates must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in their own school or college or other approved test centre on 31 October 2018. Please note, the University of Oxford will not accept BMAT results from the September sitting for Biomedical Sciences. Candidates must make sure they are available to take the test on 31 October. Separate registration for this test is required. The standard deadline for registration is 1 October 2018. Late registrations are accepted up until 15 October 2018 but there is an additional fee for this. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for this test. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Further information about all our written tests can be found at the top of this page and details about the BMAT can be found on the Biomedical Admissions Test website.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.bmat.org.uk.

Chemistry

Test: 
Candidates applying to study Chemistry (F100) must take the Thinking Skills Assessment: Section 1 (TSA S1) as part of their application. TSA S1 is a 90-minute test that consists of 50 multiple-choice thinking skills questions. The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers: 
www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Classics

Tests:
All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. This test is in three parts: the Latin test, the Greek test and the Classics Language Aptitude Test.

Candidates who are studying Latin or Greek to A-level or equivalent (those applying for Course I) must take the test(s) in the language(s) you are studying. These each consist of a short passage in prose and verse in the classical language, to be translated into English. The passages, vetted by experienced teachers, are carefully chosen to be of a difficulty suitable to students at A2 level or equivalent. Candidates are reminded that this is a closed-book test. That is, candidates will not be permitted to take dictionaries, grammar books or notes into the test. If you are not used to translating without these aids, then we suggest that you practise doing so, and try to learn vocabulary, before sitting the test. The results of the test are not considered in isolation but will be taken in to account along with all the other information from your application.

Candidates who are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent (those applying for Course II) must take the Classics Language Aptitude Test. This is designed to assess your ability to analyse how languages work, in a way which doesn't depend on your knowledge of any particular language, in order to gauge your aptitude for learning a new language rapidly. As part of the selection process there will be a follow-up interview for shortlisted candidates, where problems in the test may be revisited. We strongly recommend that all candidates who sit the Classics Language Aptitude Test work their way through at least one sample paper.

No special preparation is expected for any component of the Classics Admissions Test, other than diligent participation in your usual work at school or college.

How to register:
www.catoxford.org.uk

Specimen papers:PDF icon
Classics_Admissions_Test.pdf
Further past papers, along with answers for the Language Aptitude Test, may be found on the Classics website.

Classics and English

Tests:
Candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) AND the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT). Please note that separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

For further information, please see the separate entries for Classics and for English.

Classics and Modern Languages

Tests:
Candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) AND the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Please note that separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

For further information, please see the separate entries for Classics and for Modern Languages.

Classics and Oriental Studies (Classics with Oriental Studies - Q8T9)

Test:
All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. For details please see the separate entry for Classics.

Candidates intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian must take the Language Aptitude Test within the CAT, even if they are taking Latin and/or Greek to A2 level (in addition to any other parts required).

Classics and Oriental Studies (Oriental Studies with Classics - T9Q8)

Test:
Candidates intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian must take the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. For details please see the separate entry for Oriental Studies.

Computer Science

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
Please see the Computer Science website.

Computer Science and Philosophy

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
Please see the Computer Science website.

Earth Sciences (Geology)

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Economics and Management (E&M)

Test:
All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers: www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

Engineering Science

Test:
All candidates for all Engineering courses must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Please note that the format of the Physics Aptitude Test has changed. In 2017 multiple choice questions have been re-introduced and the physics and maths sections have been mixed up with one another rather than being two distinct sections. Candidates are urged to plan their time appropriately and attempt all the questions on the paper.

How to register:
www.patoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Physics website.

English and Modern Languages

Tests:
All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) AND the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT). Please note that separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

For further information, please see the separate entries below for English and for Modern Languages.

English Language and Literature

Test:
All candidates must take the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.elat.org.uk
.

European and Middle Eastern Languages (EMEL)

Test:
All candidates will need to take both the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) AND the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT). Separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers:
Please see the separate entries for Modern Languages and for Oriental Studies.

Fine Art

Test:
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview, which will include a practical test. Candidates will be asked to complete two pieces in a variety of media from a number of possible subjects. Candidates themselves do not need to make any special arrangements for the test, as this will be organised for them by their college.

Geography

Test:
Candidates applying in 2018, either for entry in 2019 or for deferred entry in 2020, will not have to take an admissions test.  

History

Test:
All candidates for History and its Joint Schools must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT). The HAT paper will have three questions. Applicants for History and Economics must also sit the TSA. Separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.hatoxford.org.uk

History (Ancient and Modern)

Test:
All candidates must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT). For further information, please see the separate entry for History. The registration deadline is 15 October.

History and Economics (HECO)

Tests:
All candidates must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT) and the Thinking Skills Assessment: Section 1 (TSA S1). Separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.tsaoxford.org.uk
www.hatoxford.org.uk

History and English

Test:
All candidates must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT), as for History. The registration deadline is 15 October.

Please note that candidates for History and English are NOT required to take the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT).

History and Modern Languages

Tests:
Candidates must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT) AND the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

For further information, please see the separate entries for History and for Modern Languages.

History and Politics

Test:
All candidates must take the History Aptitude Test (HAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. For further information, please see the separate entry for History.

History of Art

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

Human Sciences

Test: 
All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

Law (Jurisprudence) and Law with Law Studies in Europe

Test:
All candidates must take the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) between 1 September and 20 October in the year they submit their application. To guarantee a test slot you must register by 5 October. Candidates for Law with Law Studies in Europe who are applying for the French, German, Italian or Spanish Law options may be given an oral test in the relevant European language in December if they are shortlisted for interview. 
How to register and specimen papers:
www.lnat.ac.uk. (To find your nearest test centre, visit www.lnat.ac.uk/on-test-day/test-centres, then click on ‘live test centre locator’ near the bottom of the page.)

Materials Science

Test:
All Materials candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Please note that the format of the Physics Aptitude Test has changed. In 2017 multiple choice questions will be re-introduced and the physics and maths sections will be mixed up with one another rather than being two distinct sections. Candidates are urged to plan their time appropriately and attempt all the questions on the paper.

How to register:
www.patoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Physics website.

Mathematics

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Computer Science

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Philosophy

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Statistics

Test:
All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.matoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:

See Maths Department website.

Medicine (A100 and A101)

Test:

A100

All candidates must take the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) in their own school or college or other approved test centre on 31 October 2018. Please note, the University of Oxford will not accept BMAT results from the September sitting for A100 Medicine. Candidates must make sure they are available to take the test on 31 October. Separate registration for this test is required. The standard deadline for registration is 1 October 2018. Late registrations are accepted up until 15 October 2018 but there is an additional fee for this. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for this test. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Further information about all our written tests can be found at the top of this page and details about the BMAT can be found on the Biomedical Admissions Test website.

A101

Candidates may choose either the September or October sitting of the BMAT. Test-takers must not take the test twice in one application round. Further information about all our written tests can be found at the top of this page and details about the BMAT can be found on the Biomedical Admissions Test website.

How to register and specimen papers:

www.bmat.org.uk.

Modern Languages

Tests:
All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. This test is a booklet containing several different papers: please check to see which papers are required for your course.

How to register:
www.mlatoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Modern Languages website.

Modern Languages and Linguistics

Tests:
All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. This test is a booklet containing several different papers: please check to see which papers are required for your course.

How to register and specimen papers:
Please see Modern Languages above.

Music

Test:
Shortlisted candidates will be asked to take a practical test in December.

For further details:
Music test.

Oriental Studies

Test:
Candidates for course combinations including Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Jewish Studies and Persian will need to take the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register:
www.olatoxford.org.uk

Specimen of written test:
Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT).pdf

Philosophy and Modern Languages

Test:
All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Please see the separate entry for Modern Languages for further details. This test is a booklet containing several different papers including a Philosophy paper for students applying for Philosophy and Modern Languages: please check to see which papers are required for your course

Specimen of written test:
Please see the separate entry for Modern Languages.

Philosophy and Theology

Test: 
All candidates must take the Philosophy Test. The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register: www.admissionstestingservice.org/phil.

Specimen of written test:
Philosophy Test.pdf

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

Test:
All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers: www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

Physics

Test:
All Physics candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Please note that the format of the Physics Aptitude Test has changed. In 2017 multiple choice questions will be re-introduced and the physics and maths sections will be mixed up with one another rather than being two distinct sections. Candidates are urged to plan their time appropriately and attempt all the questions on the paper.

How to register:
www.patoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Physics website.

Physics and Philosophy

Test:
All candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Please see Physics above.

How to register:
www.patoxford.org.uk

Specimen paper:
See Physics website.

Psychology (Experimental)

Test:
All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). The registration deadline is 15 October.

How to register and specimen papers: www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics

Test:
All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). See www.tsaoxford.org.uk for further details.

Candidates for courses including Linguistics (Psychology and Linguistics, Philosophy and Linguistics) must also take the Linguistics Test. This is part of the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Please see Modern Languages above.

Please note that separate registration is required for each of the two tests and the registration deadline is 15 October.

Specimen papers:
See Psychology website.

Religion and Oriental Studies

Test:
Candidates applying to the Judaism and Islam strands, intending to study Hebrew, Arabic, Persian or Turkish, are required to take the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT). The registration deadline is 15 October. Candidates for the Buddhism, Hinduism and Eastern Christianity strands do not have to sit a written test.

How to register and specimen papers:
www.olatoxford.org.uk

Theology and Religion

You do not need to take a written test when you apply for this course.

How do I register?

If the course you are applying for has an admissions test or tests, then you must register in advance to take that test - you won't be able to just turn up on the day and take it.

Registration isn't automatic and just completing your UCAS application won't register you for the appropriate admission test. You must follow the steps below to register for the tests before the deadline.

If your course requires you to take more than one admissions test you must register for them both.

Registering for the LNAT

  • Deadline for registration: 5 October to guarantee a test slot by 20 October.
  • Deadline for taking the LNAT: 20 October.
  • How to register: Individual students can register themselves to take the LNAT at their nearest LNAT centre. See www.lnat.ac.uk for details about how to register.  

Registering for BMAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October. Please note, the University of Oxford will not accept BMAT results from the September sitting for A100 Medicine. 
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your BMAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for CAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your CAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for ELAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your ELAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for HAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your HAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for MAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your MAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for MLAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your MLAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.
  • Not sure which MLAT paper to register for? Check this list to find your specific course or combination.

Registering for OLAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your OLAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for PAT

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your PAT candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for the Philosophy Test

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

Registering for TSA or TSA S1

  • Deadline for registration: 15 October
  • Date test is taken: 31 October
  • How to register: if your school or college is already a registered test centre (or becomes one in time) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre.
  • Important information: Ask for your TSA or TSA S1 candidate number so you know you have been registered correctly.

How do I prepare?

Taking any type of test or exam can be stressful, but you can help build your confidence by doing a bit of preparation ahead of time. You may also do better in the real test if you've had a chance to practice some sample or past papers, and got used to the format and timings of the admissions test you have to take.

Our top tips for preparing for the admission tests:

  1. Review the sample papers for your tests. This will help you to feel familiar with the test paper and know what to expect.
  2. Sit at least one past paper in test conditions. This is really important as it will help you get used to how much time to allocate to each question.
  3. If there is a published syllabus for a test we strongly recommend that you check the details and ensure that you have covered the relevant material.
  4. You may also find this webinar on admissions tests and assessments useful when preparing.

Don't worry if you find the past or specimen papers very difficult - they're supposed to be! All our tests are designed to stretch you further than you have been stretched before – most candidates will find them really hard.

Past or specimen papers

Choose your course from the list below to find links for any past or specimen papers or other preparation materials:

Biomedical Sciences

Test: BMAT
Specimen papers: available on the BMAT website.

Chemistry

Test: TSA S1.
Specimen papers: available on the TSA website.

Classics

Test: CAT
Specimen papers: Classics_Admissions_Test.pdf and further past papers, along with answers for the Language Aptitude Test, may be found on the Classics website.

Classics and English

Tests: CAT and ELAT.
Specimen papers: please see the separate entries for Classics and for English.

Classics and Modern Languages

Tests: CAT and MLAT.
Specimen papers: please see the separate entries for Classics and for Modern Languages.

Classics and Oriental Studies (Classics with Oriental Studies - Q8T9)

Test: CAT. Candidates intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian must take the Language Aptitude Test within the CAT, even if they are taking Latin and/or Greek to A2 level (in addition to any other parts required).
Specimen papers: please see the separate entry for Classics. 

Classics and Oriental Studies (Oriental Studies with Classics - T9Q8)

Test: OLAT (candidates for Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian). 
Specimen papers:
OLAT.pdf

Computer Science

Test: MAT.
Specimen papers: Please see the Computer Science website.

Computer Science and Philosophy

Test: MAT
Specimen papers: Please see the Computer Science website.

Economics and Management (E&M)

Test: TSA.
Specimen papers: available on the TSA website.

Engineering Science

Test: PAT.
Specimen papers: See Physics website.

English and Modern Languages

Tests: MLAT and ELAT.
Specimen papers: please see the separate entries for English and for Modern Languages.

English Language and Literature

Test: ELAT.
Specimen papers: available on the ELAT website.

European and Middle Eastern Languages (EMEL)

Test: MLAT and OLAT.
Specimen papers: Please see the separate entries for Modern Languages and for Oriental Studies.

Geography

Test: Candidates applying in 2018 either for entry in 2019 or for deferred entry in 2020 entry will not have to take an admissions test.
Specimen papers: N/A

History

Test: HAT
Specimen papers: available on the HAT website.

History (Ancient and Modern)

Test: HAT
Specimen papers: available on the HAT website.

History and Economics (HECO)

Tests: HAT and TSA S1. 
Specimen papers: available on the HAT website and the TSA website.

History and English

Test: HAT (candidates are NOT required to take the ELAT).
Specimen papers: available on the HAT website

History and Modern Languages

Tests: HAT and MLAT.
Specimen papers: Please see the separate entries for History and for Modern Languages.

History and Politics

Test: HAT.
Specimen papers: available on the HAT website

Human Sciences

Test: TSA
Specimen papers: available on  the TSA website.

Law (Jurisprudence) and Law with Law Studies in Europe

Test: LNAT
Specimen papers: www.lnat.ac.uk

Materials Science

Test: PAT.
Specimen papers: See Physics website.

Mathematics

Test: MAT
Specimen papers: See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Computer Science

Test: MAT
Specimen paper: See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Philosophy

Test: MAT
Specimen papers: See Maths Department website.

Mathematics and Statistics

Test: MAT
Specimen papers: See Maths Department website.

Medicine

Test: BMAT
Specimen papers: available on the BMAT website.

Modern Languages

Test: MLAT (This test is a booklet containing several different papers: please check to see which papers are required for your course).
Specimen papers: See Modern Languages website.

Modern Languages and Linguistics

Tests: MLAT (This test is a booklet containing several different papers: please check to see which papers are required for your course).
Specimen papers: See Modern Languages website.

Music

Test: Shortlisted candidates will be asked to take a practical test in December.
For further details: Music test.

Oriental Studies

Test: Candidates for course combinations which include Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew and Persian will need to take the OLAT.
Specimen papers: OLAT.pdf

Philosophy and Modern Languages

Test: MLAT (This test is a booklet containing several different papers including a Philosophy paper for students applying for Philosophy and Modern Languages: please check to see which papers are required for your course). 
Specimen papers: Please see the separate entry for Modern Languages.

Philosophy and Theology

Test: the Philosophy Test. 
Specimen papers: Philosophy test.pdf

 

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

Test: TSA
Specimen papers: available on  the TSA website.

Physics

Test: PAT
Specimen papers: See Physics website.

Physics and Philosophy

Test: PAT
Specimen papers: See Physics website.

Psychology (Experimental)

Test: TSA
Specimen papers: available on  the TSA website.

Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics

Test: TSA. Candidates for courses including Linguistics (Psychology and Linguistics, Philosophy and Linguistics) must also take the Linguistics Test, which is part of the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Please see Modern Languages above.

Specimen papers: See Psychology website.

Religion and Oriental Studies

Test: Candidates applying to the Judaism and Islam strands, intending to study Hebrew, Arabic, Persian or Turkish, are required to take the OLAT. (Candidates for the Buddhism, Hinduism and Eastern Christianity strands do not have to sit a written test).

Specimen papers: www.olatoxford.org.uk

 

FAQs

These are some frequently asked questions about our admissions tests. If your question is not answered here, you can email us at study@ox.ac.uk

General questions

Why does Oxford University use tests as part of its admissions process?

Most applicants to Oxford University have great personal statements, excellent references, and are also predicted top grades. It can therefore be difficult for us to choose between so many well-qualified candidates, especially as applicants come from all over the world and take different qualifications. Tests give us an extra piece of information for every student who has applied for a given course, wherever they are from. Considered together with the other elements of the application, this help us to identify the very best candidates.

Test scores can be useful, both in deciding who to shortlist for interview and who will receive an offer. We only shortlist those students who have a good chance of getting a place, as this helps us to focus our resources on those who are mostly likely to receive an offer.

Why don’t you interview everyone who applies?

For some courses, we do interview almost everyone that applies. These tend to be courses with relatively few applications for each place (around three competitive applicants per place).

In courses with more than three competitive applicants per place, it just isn’t possible to interview everyone. We shortlist around three applicants for each place, based on their UCAS application, any test or tests that are required, any written work that must be submitted for that course, and any relevant contextual data. This means that tutors can focus their time on the strongest applicants, to give them the best chance of making a successful application. We have found that multiple interviews with multiple interviewers gives the most useful assessment of each applicant’s potential and suitability for a course.

Who has to take the tests?

Where a test is required for a particular course, all applicants for that course must take the test. This includes international students, mature students, and anyone who has applied before. (For some joint courses, more than one test may be required.) This gives us a benchmark for everyone who applies, whatever their background or their existing qualifications.

Don’t the tests benefit certain types of students?

We work really hard to make sure that our tests are as fair as they can possibly be. There are some courses where particular knowledge is essential, so the test for those courses assess specific knowledge (for example, the Physics Aptitude Test requires students to have a good understanding of specific areas of Physics and Maths). Other courses do not require any specific knowledge, but ask students to demonstrate relevant academic skills (for example, the History Aptitude Test does not assess knowledge of any particular country or period of history, but it looks for students who can best demonstrate their ability in assessing historical texts). Other tests assess critical thinking and reasoning skills (for example, the Thinking Skills Assessment, used by a number of Oxford courses.)

How are the tests designed and reviewed?

When a course wishes to introduce a new admissions test there is a substantial consultation process within the University, including a pilot testing phase, designed to ensure that the test is suitable. Where appropriate, subject departments are encouraged to share common tests, or elements of tests, to ease the process of application for the student and administration for the school or college. A report for each admissions test is produced every five years and we undertake substantial statistical evaluation of each test.

Why is there no test for Geography this year?

There is no test for Geography this year. The department are reviewing which test to use in future years. For more information about selection criteria, visit the department website.

Questions about registering for tests

Do I need to register?

Yes. Registration is required for all our tests. For further information please see How do I register?

I want to take my test at my school or college.

Please ask your Exams Officer whether or not your school or college is already registered as a test centre. If not please see advice for schools and colleges on how to become a test centre. Institutions can register to become test centres at any time though please note that the deadline for applying to become a new test centre is 30 September. Registration for candidates to take tests opens on 1 September and you must register by 6pm UK time on 15 October. You are strongly advised to begin making arrangements as soon as possible.

I cannot take my test at my school or college. What should I do?

Please see advice for applicants on finding an open test centre.

My nearest open centre is a long way away. What should I do?

Your own school or college may already be a registered centre. If not, your school or college may be able to register as a centre now so you won't need to travel at all. Please see advice for schools and colleges on how to become a test centre. The deadline for applying to become a new test centre is 30 September.

I'm a teacher or exams officer. What do I need to do? 

If your school or college is already a registered centre please see this advice on registering your candidates. If your school or college is not yet registered, please see advice for schools and colleges on how to become a test centre. The deadline for applying to become a new test centre is 30 September. 

If you are administering tests at your school, you might find these FAQs and a suggested timetable useful. There is also guidance on what to do on test day.

Questions about taking the tests

When do I take the test?

Most of Oxford’s admissions tests are administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. These tests are taken at specific dates each year, a few weeks after the application deadline on 15 October. The next test dates are:

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Applicants for Medicine

Please note that the BMAT is offered on two different dates every year. Applicants for the A100 Medicine course must take the BMAT in October/November, not the September sitting.

Applicants for the A101 Graduate Entry Medicine course may choose either the September or October/November sitting of the BMAT, but must not take the test twice in one application round.

Applicants for Law

All candidates must take the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) between 1 September and 20 October in the year they submit their application. 

Are the tests in English?

Yes, the tests are taken in English. Those papers testing your language ability (e.g. MLAT or OLAT) will have specific questions in that language, but the rest of the paper and all the instructions will be in English.

Are the tests timed?

Yes, all the tests are taken under exam conditions. This means there will be a time limit for you to complete the test, supervision during the test, and restrictions about what you can take into the exam room.

What if I miss the test?

If you don't take any admissions test for your course, either because you didn't register for it or didn't attend on the test day, then your application will be significantly affected. Your UCAS form will still be viewed by our admissions tutors. However, as the admissions test forms an important part of our selection process it will be extremely difficult for your application to be competitive when viewed against other candidates who have fulfilled all the admissions criteria.

If I don't do well, can I retake the test?

No. It's not possible to retake any of the admissions tests.

If you feel you did badly because of extenuating circumstances (e.g. you were ill during the test) or because there was disruption in your test centre then there is a process for letting us know, but you will not be able to retake the test.

Questions about marks and results

What is the pass mark?

There is no specific mark that will guarantee your application will be shortlisted, as the tests vary each year, and your test score will be considered alongside the scores of other students who apply for your course. The test score is also just one element of your application that will be considered, alongside your academic record, personal statement, academic reference and any predicted grades.

When do I get the results?

Admissions tutors have the results of all tests in time to make their shortlisting decisions in November, so candidates do not need to send their results to us separately.

  • Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) results are available to candidates on 24 November via the Results Online system.
  • English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) and Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) results are available online to candidates on 15 January. Please see www.tsaoxford.org.uk and www.elat.org.uk for details.
  • Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) results are emailed to candidates in mid February.

Results for all our other admissions tests are not automatically published but they can be requested as part of the usual feedback process.

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